Over the past few decades, the demand placed on Maryland pharmacies has skyrocketed. The workload of the average pharmacist has correspondingly increased. In an attempt to keep the system working efficiently, pharmacies have begun to rely more and more on technology to help with filling prescriptions. This includes checking for prescribing errors and potential adverse reactions.
One of the most notable advancements is the widespread use of electronic prescribing and medication administration. The concept behind electronic prescribing and medication administration is that doctors and pharmacists can electronically input a patient’s prescription rather than rely on a “paper trail,” as used to be the case.
As a recent article points out, however, there may be unintended consequences of the widespread use of electronic prescribing and medication administration. The study reviewed the pharmacy staff’s daily behaviors before and after the implementation of an electronic prescribing and medication administration system. According to researchers, the new system may be linked to an increase in medication errors — the study based this conclusion on several data points.
Researchers noted that after the implementation of electronic prescribing and medication administration, pharmacy staff spent less time with patients and spent more time completing other routine tasks. Surprisingly, the amount of time the average pharmacist spent with a patient decreased to just 2% of their day. The tasks that took up most of the pharmacists’ time were professional communication, screening inpatient medication, and screening discharge medication.
Interestingly, the pharmacy staff’s perception of the electronic system was mixed. Pharmacists appreciated that the prescriptions were clearly indicated and that the prescribing physician’s name and pager number were included in the on-screen information. However, there was a perception among staff that the system resulted in more errors. Some pharmacists reported that the electronic prescribing system made incorrect recommendations in certain situations that required an override. Pharmacists were concerned that a failure to catch these errors would result in a patient being given the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
Additionally, pharmacists noted that the new system made errors more difficult to spot because there was no paper trail. This could potentially also impact a pharmacy’s ability to track errors and prevent future mistakes.
Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you or someone you love has recently been the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, contact the dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have decades of experience representing injury victims and their families pursue claims for compensation against those who are responsible for their injuries. We work with an extensive network of experts across the country to effectively and convincingly present our clients’ cases. To learn more about how we can help you recover for your injuries call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation today. Calling is free, and we will not ill you for our services unless we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
More Blog Posts:
Some Pharmacies May Lack Safeguards Protecting Patients Against a Physician’s Over-Prescribing, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, March 1, 2019.
ISMP Hopes Maryland Pharmacists Will Take Extra Precautions After Fatal Pharmacy Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 4, 2019.